So many of you may already know that the electrical mad scientists at Electro-Harmonix are coming out with some of the coolest pedals this side of the 70s, and are showing no signs of stopping! You may remember a certain B9 pedal that came out in the last few months that simulates (extremely authentically) the sounds of 9 different keyboards and organs!
Well, we have already sold out of our quantity of B9 pedals for the time being, but that doesn't mean EHX is going to let us off the hook! No sir, they have just announced another amazingly small-yet-massive sounding pedal called [fittingly] THE PITCH FORK.
There is certainly no shortage of knock-off pitch shifters and harmonizer pedals... Seriously, there are a seemingly-endless amount available in the current market, and even more if you decide to shop the used pedal universe.
Typically, guitarists find that the classic DigiTech Whammy pedal fits the bill the best, as it offers the most authentic and recognizable pitch shifts and harmonies. Even from personal experience, I have tried both clone and very high end pitch shifters and nothing really comes close to the bright red machine known as the Whammy pedal. It blew people's minds in the 80s, again with RATM in the 90s, and continues to be the standard by which all other pedals are judged. The 80s 1st generation version was in fact so legendary, that it was recently brought back by DigiTech in their 5th gen pedal!
But, if having this huge pedal is too much for you, or you don't need the function of an expression pedal, EHX now has the answer for you; and it sounds fantastic!
EHX introduces The Pitch Fork, which packs an insane amount of features into a very small footprint- you can get epic tones and not eat up a ton of real estate on your pedalboard. Plus, for those of you who are complaining that it does not have a foot pedal expression- you can use this pedal in conjunction with a MIDI footswitch!
This pedal is a dual-function harmonizer and pitch shifter- in as few words as possible. In reality it can do ALL of this:
The Pitch Fork transposes an instrument’s pitch over a +/- three octave range and features three modes which allow the pitch to be transposed up, down or both, simultaneously. The pitch shift amount can be set to a fixed interval or continuously varied by an expression pedal or control voltage.The controls are straightforward and intuitive. An 11-position Shift switch selects the maximum transposition interval ranging from D (Detune), a shift of 17 cents, through Minor 2nd, Major 2nd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Major 6th, Minor 7th, 1 Octave, 2 Octaves and 3 Octaves. A three position toggle switch controls whether the pitch is transposed up, down or both. In Dual mode, two pitch-shifted signals are output. One follows the shift knob as if in the Up position while the other creates a harmony. Dual Mode settings include M3 up + P5 up, P5 up + 1 Oct down, 1 Oct up + 1 Oct down and many others. A Blend knob controls the mix of the dry signal and the effected signal, and an EXP jack enables the player to control pitch and glissando with an expression pedal.The Latch button selects Latch or Momentary mode which affects how the footswitch and EXP input behave. In Latch mode, the footswitch toggles between effect on and buffered bypass each time it’s pressed and the EXP input continuously varies pitch. In Momentary mode the effect is only on while the footswitch is depressed and when it is released the Pitch Fork goes into bypass.In Latch mode the EXP input controls pitch shift amount, ranging from unity to the interval set by the Shift knob, and pitch varies continuously throughout the expression pedal’s range. In Momentary mode the EXP input controls glissando rate for the Pitch Fork’s footswitch. When the bypass footswitch is pressed, the Pitch Fork jumps from bypass to the interval set by the Shift knob. The amount of time it takes to reach that new note is the glissando rate. When the footswitch is released the pitch will return to unity at the same rate. That glissando time can vary between 4 milliseconds to two seconds depending on the heel/toe position of the expression pedal. The default glissando rate is 60 milliseconds when nothing is plugged into the EXP input.
So, you get the ability to do the trademark features of the Whammy, however, you can create 12/18 string guitar sounds with multi-octaves, control the amount of shift with an awesome blend knob, plus up to 3 octaves of coverage! EHX claims that the tracking on this pedal is lightning-fast and their demo video seems to prove it! Furthermore, you can use the dry control to blend in the original signal with harmony, plus add distortion or fuzz in front of the box for total rad synth sounds! The possibilities are endless with both single note and chordal phrases! This video will make you a believer:
Thanks to EHX.com for the video and images!